Cayman Red Cross Nepal appeal raises almost $50,000

The Cayman Islands Red Cross’s Nepal Emergency Appeal has raised almost $50,000 to assist people affected by earthquakes that shook the Himalayan nation earlier this year.

Two earthquakes, on April 25 and May 12, killed more than 8,700 people in Nepal, triggered landslides and destroyed half a million homes, leaving thousands without shelter just weeks ahead of monsoon rains.

The relief effort continues, with a focus on improved sanitation and truckloads of clean water for those still living in temporary accommodations. However, the Red Cross’s fundraising efforts in Cayman come to an end on June 29.

“As always, the generosity of the people of the islands never ceases to amaze us, and there is still time to support this incredibly worthy cause,” said Jondo Obi, Red Cross director.

Frederic Morineau, executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, said he was proud of the amount raised, despite the bad weather on island and numerous other events that were taking place on the same weekend.

“Special thanks go to Westin Casuarina Resort Chef Sandy who came up with the idea for the fundraiser after seeing how upset his cooks from Nepal were on the day of the first earthquake, and to Marc Langevin for letting us use the Grand Ballroom at the Ritz,” he said.

The two most recent “Cayman 4 Nepal” events, held at The Ritz-Carlton and across the Foster’s Food Fair IGA island locations, were well attended and raised more than $31,000.

During the days after the earthquake, the Red Cross response concentrated on the distribution of tarpaulins needed for temporary shelter, which was particularly important with the onset of the monsoon season. The heavy rains are now causing further problems, including threats from landslides and limited access to already hard-to-reach areas due to debris and infrastructure damage caused by the earthquakes. Other essential items distributed included water purification tablets, rehydration salts, blankets and soap.

Red Cross teams in Nepal were also able to set up emergency medical centers, and 4,500 Red Cross first aid volunteers have been mobilized.

Anyone wishing to assist with donations can make their contributions to Cayman Red Cross Nepal emergency account at Butterfield Bank, account number 136035054-00-60, before June 29.